Human tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (hTPH2) is the rate-limiting enzyme for serotonin biosynthesis in the brain. A number of naturally-occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been reported for hTPH2. We investigated the activity and kinetic characteristics of the most common missense polymorphism rs2887147 (A328 V/E; 0.92% allelic frequency for the two different reported SNPs at the same site) using bacterially expressed hTPH2. The recombinant full-length enzyme A328E had no measurable enzyme activity, but A328V displayed decreased enzyme activity (Vmax). A328V also displayed substrate inhibition and decreased stability compared to the wild-type enzyme. By contrast, in constructs lacking the N-terminal 150 amino acid regulatory domain, the A328V substitution had no effect; that is, there was no substrate inhibition, enzyme stabilities (for wild-type and A328V) were dramatically increased, and Vmax values were not different (while the A328E variant remained inactive). These findings, in combination with molecular modeling, suggest that substitutions at A328 affect catalytic activity by altering the conformational freedom of the regulatory domain. The reduced activity and substrate inhibition resulting from these polymorphisms may ultimately reduce serotonin synthesis and contribute to behavioral perturbations, emotional stress, and eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101527
JournalBiochemistry and Biophysics Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this